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Guided tours

Join our volunteer guides on an introductory tour and discover some highlights of the collection.

Reopening update

Please note, all Volunteer Guide led tours at the National Museum of Scotland have been postponed until further notice due to the ongoing safety measures around COVID-19. Please contact if you have any questions.

Find out more about our range of guided tours at the National Museum of Scotland by clicking on the headings below:

Free Daily Guided Tours

Our free public guided tours are for adult individuals and small groups (up to six people only). These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  It is not possible to reserve places in advance.

If you are visiting as part of a larger group please refer to our group booked tours below.

Discover the National Museum

Time: 11:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Take an introductory tour around the National Museum of Scotland and discover the stories about selected objects. 

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Scotland Galleries Highlights tour

Time: 13:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Join one of our daily guided tours and discover some of the highlights in the Scotland galleries. 

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

Themed tour

Time: 15:00 (1 hr)
Cost: Free

Join us for our exciting programme of tours with a different theme each day. Our themed tours cover a wide range of topics, featuring diverse objects and stories from across our collections in Scottish History and Archaeology, Science and Technology, Art and Design, Natural Science and World Cultures

Meet your guide at the Tour Meeting Point, Entrance Hall, Level 0.

See the list of themed tours scheduled for March 2020.

Private booked tours for individuals and groups

All our tours are available as private, booked tours. The cost of a private, booked tour is £5.00 per person (we make a minimum charge of £50.00 per guided group).  One guide is allocated to every 15 people. 

Tours are subject to guide availability and a minimum of three weeks’ notice is requested. Please contact for further information and tour request form.

Audio described tours for blind and visually impaired visitors

Free, audio described guided tours are also available by request and subject to availability. This is an audio description of our Discover the National Museum Tour and it is delivered by our Learning staff or Volunteer Guides. To find out more and book, please call  0131 247 4041 or email

Check our Exhibitions and Events calendar for audio described tours of special exhibitions.

BSL Interpreted Tours

Free British Sign Language interpreted tours are available by request. To arrange please email or call 0131 247 4041, giving at least three weeks’ notice.

Check our Exhibitions and Events calendar for ticketed BSL tours and events.

Hearing Helpers

All of our tours offer the use of the Hearing Helper Tour Guide system. These help visitors with hearing difficulties overcome background noise and distance from the guide. They can be used with hearing aids. This can be asked for on the day but if you have any queries, please email or call 0131 247 4041.


Due to essential lift maintenance work in autumn 2019, most of our tours currently involve climbing stairs.  If you require a step-free tour, please speak to the Volunteer Guide on arrival or call 0300 123 6789.

There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. You can find more access information here.

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